Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy, play "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" - Reverb

Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy, Sean Lennon, Harem Gospel Choir perform “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” on “Colbert Report” (video)

What would life be like if John Lennon were still around? Would he be fronting defunct ’90s “alternative rock” acts like Macca playing Kurt Cobain for Nirvana? We got the next best thing with Sean Lennon, Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples and the Harlem Gospel Choir breathing new life into the timeless and more palatable Christmas tune, “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” on “Colbert Report.” Call me a minimalist, but I think the classic would’ve been best served had it been done without all of the fireworks.

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Julio Enriquez is a Denver writer and photographer, editor of the Cause=Time blog and a regular contributor to Reverb.